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Abstract

Porosity and permeability are the most important attributes of reservoir rock. They determine the amount of fluid a rock can contain and the rate at which that fluid can be produced (Dickey, 1986). Porosity is defined as the "property possessed by a rock of containing interstices, without regard to size, shape, or interconnection of openings. It is expressed as the percentage of the total (bulk) volume occupied by the interstices" (API, 1941). Permeability is a measure of the ability of a rock to transmit fluids. A detailed discussion of porosity and permeability and the measurement of these rock properties is the subject of Chapter 11.

Accurate porosity values are critical to predrill evaluation of resources in potential reservoirs (potentially recoverable hydrocarbons in undiscovered fields are called resources, not reserves). Once a discovery is made, reservoir rock properties (porosity/permeability) are used to establish pore volume, hydrocarbon pore volume, recoverable reserves, production rates, well spacings, fluid injection rates, etc. The need for accurate estimates of rock properties extends to the whole "life cycle" (discovery, appraisal, planning, development, and management) of a reservoir (Table 1-1). Porosity and permeability data and estimates provide essential input to mathematical reservoir models, used to evaluate both new and mature fields, and to determine the most efficient method of economic development.

Porosity and permeability are also key parameters in basin modeling. Such models help in the interpretation of sedimentary, hydrodynamic, geochemical, and tectonic processes which affected a given area over geologic time. Understanding of processes controlling basin formation

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